Tuesday, April 23, 2013

About Growing Up

All Grown up

The other day, I went for the alumni reunion of BITS. Apart from the fact that there was hardly anybody from my batch, what was disconcerting was the fact that there were people who had entered  the college after I had graduated. Those kids were now alumni. Their talks now ranged from how good last year's fest was to the profiles and packages of the industries, which they were joining. 

Standing there, looking at the magnificent Marine Drive, I could not help but accept the slow realization, which was creeping in, that I was growing older. It was like popping a bubble. It had been four years since I graduated from college. 

The thing about the process of growing up is that, you don't realize it when it's happening. One day, it just hits you in the face, like it did to me the other day. From then on you just have to accept it. 

A lot of things happen during the process ( At least happened with me). Some of them are the one's which you always knew would happen, the other's most of the time are things which you have to accept grudgingly.  I would try to enumerate some of the points which I felt, happened over the years:

  • One makes his/ her closest friends during the undergrad years. Sadly, over the years most of them move away. However, the reason you know that they are your closest friends is that you can pick up the phone and call them up anytime, referring them with that nasty nickname you had for them.

  • Money, over the years becomes a number. Yes, it is still very important. However, after sometime money would just represent a number by which you would satisfy your ego. You would chase it primarily because a higher number would look good in the account statement, but you won't find enough avenues to want to spend it. This number, however would be the reason which would at times stop you from chasing your dreams. You would rationalize saying that you need more of it ( you don't, stop kidding yourself)

  • Once you graduate from college, most of the times one is spent on a wild goose chase. The chase takes different forms, but it majorly includes trying to get into a graduate school, trying to get out of the graduate school, chasing some elusive target for the year end bonus, trying to build a " perfect profile", meeting numerous deadlines. Life quietly passes you by, while you chase these deadlines.

  • This is also the period when most of you would have your own money to spend for the first time. A lot of it would be spent at various clubs during the weekend. A lot of it would be fun. The first few of these outings would be spent in trying out everything and trying to live the life which you saw in sitcoms. However, after those outings, every nightclub would feel the same. What one would reminisce would those random low budget get togethers ( mostly at somebody else's  expense) at that small shack. 

  • A few of you would find a perfect person to spend your time with. This period would be easier for you. For the rest of us, this period would be of volatile uncertainty, trying to meet different people to find that person to spend time with. Over time, you would become more of a realist ( or a cynic). Most of you would stop seeing the world with rose tinted goggles. You would meet many people, who would change you. You will only remember a few of them. There would always be that one relationship which you would always remember and hope to get the same feelings in all your subsequent one's ( Do not do that, you would only be doing injustice to the one you are into)

  • Dating, after a point would become an algorithm with fixed restaurants and routines corresponding to the first, second and then the subsequent dates ( One of you will run out of patience before you run out of restaurants). 

  • This period would be special because it will be marked with many of your firsts. The first car, the first pay and many more ( you get the drift). You would finally be able to spend money on the crazy desires which you had - A lot of you will will spend this money on Xboxes, speakers, phones etc. The thing would be,  that you may be sleeping on the floor, but you would watch your movie in HD with surround sound at home. The women on the other hand would just buy shoes from all that extra money.

  • You would disappoint somebody during this period. A friend, a colleague, an elder or a lover.  Some of it would be because of things which will not be under your control. Some of it might be because you have changed or they have changed. Some of it might be because you could not live up to their expectations and at times because you wanted to. If possible, try to talk and explain things and at times apologize, even if you were not wrong.   

  • A lot of you would define your career during this period. Some of you would be doing, what you always hoped, some of you would be nowhere near it. But the funny things is, when you look around, the person who is finally doing what he always hoped may not be the happiest, while the guy who went at a tangent might be the happiest. Also, you would hardly find somebody who would be in love with his job ( unless, he/she is an entrepreneur). 

  • You would always be the coolest person for you nephews and nieces.

This post has gone too long. I want to write a lot more, but would stop here (maybe will write another one sometime). The one thing which I have learned from this period is that, everybody around you would be fighting his/ her own battle and having his/ her own struggle, the least we should do is respect them and their struggle. 

picture courtesy: http://briansnedeker.blogspot.in/

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